New Orleans Hornets at Golden State Warriors Pro Basketball Handicapping Preview

New Orleans Hornets at Golden State Warriors
Tuesday, 2/15/11, 10:30 PM EDT
Opening Point Spread:  Golden State -1.5
Current Betting Line:  Golden State -2.5
Opening Total:  201
Current Total:  201.5

Golden State has won two straight home games and is favored against New Orleans Tuesday night

New Orleans had no problems in capturing a 112-103 win at Oracle Arena on January 26 due to shooting 62.2 percent from the field, but the team will now take any victory it can get at this point in time.  The Hornets are coming off a 97-88 loss to the Bulls, squandering an 11-point halftime lead and managing to score jus6 35 second-half points.  “We just couldn’t score in the fourth,” said guard Chris Paul.  “We didn’t have anything to go to, just couldn’t get anything.”  The team is still 6-2 against the top five teams in the Eastern Conference after the loss and a solid 11-2 overall at home against such foes.  New Orleans is 7-18 ATS versus poor defensive teams that are allowing 99 or more points a game and currently a small road underdog on the NBA lines page.

The Hornets are 13-15 overall on the road this season, including a losing 7-10 mark versus Western Conference teams.  New Orleans is 33-23 all-time versus Golden State and has a 12-17 record on the road in the series.  It’s vital for the defense to step up tonight and hold the Warriors to under 100 points, as the squad is 4-15 when allowing more than the century mark during the 2010-11 campaign.  New Orleans is third in the NBA for fewest points allowed, giving up 92.6 points per game, which is a drastic improvement from its 102.7 mark of last year.

Golden State won its second straight home game by beating Oklahoma City 100-94 on national television on Sunday night.  The game saw 21 lead changes and the defense led to many critical scoring opportunities in fast break situations.  The Warriors are scoring 19.6 points off turnovers this season, which is first in the league.  Rebounding also played an important role last time out, out-rebounding the Thunder by a 47-33 margin.  “I think you just have to keep emphasizing rebounding,” said coach Keith Smart.  “That’s something we said from the beginning of the year.”  Golden State is 15-14 ATS at home this season.

The Warriors will try and attack the Hornets from the perimeter offensively due to ranking second in the league by shooting 39.4 percent from beyond the arc.  Golden State is averaging 8.4 makes from the three-point area, which ranks fourth in the NBA.  Guard Monte Ellis will also play an important role on the offensive end, scoring 20-plus points in 41 of 53 games.  He has combined with Stephen Curry to average 44.0 points this season in the back court.  With such a strong back court for opponents to focus on, forward David Lee has been a terror inside and the team is 14-9 when he records a double-double.

Bettors will be interested in backing the Warriors due to their 12-9 ATS mark as a favorite, while the Hornets are 3-8 ATS versus the Pacific division.

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